“My scars tell a story. They’re a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed. They’re markings where the structure of my character was welded.”
– Steve Maraboli
At 18, I fell in love with a bad boy. At 19, I had a baby with him, named Talon. The abuse started while I was pregnant. Mental, emotional and physical. From there, it escalated to worse + worse. I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself.
955 days ago I walked away from an abusive relationship once and for all.
On the morning of March 2, 2014… I stood above a bathroom sink while blood poured from my nose, trying to breathe and stop the bleeding. I’d been struck by the fist of the father of my first son. The police + EMTs showed up. They hauled him away to jail and I went to the ER. My nose was broken. This was the LAST time I let him touch me. The official death of our 2 year relationship.
The moment he hit me… I finally saw who he was… Who I was. I was not the girl I once was. I used to be strong, fiery and powerful. With him, I was a naive + numb little girl that couldnt see a way out of the cage that I ALLOWED him put me in. I abandoned my friends + family to be with him. I was a lousy mother to Talon because I was so wrapped up in the drama with his dad. A zombie that seemed human because I was going through the motions of life but not really living.
After that day, I only wanted a few people to know what happened. I wouldn’t talk about it. I wanted to pretend as though it didn’t happen.
They set my nose into place and I had a cast on it for a 10 days. People would ask what happened, I lied and said I was helping a friend move and a large picture frame fell on it. Once I got the cast off, I had a scar.. I still have that scar today. (pictured above was soon after I got the cast off)
A few months went by, I started picking up the pieces and began to find myself. I realized that the cage had a door and all I had to do was open it, start walking away + never look back. I realized I deserve better and to never let a man treat me like their property. Don’t ever think that a man who abuses you mentally, emotionally or physically really loves you, because they don’t. I realized to close that door and to never reopen it. Lift your head up, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and seek help when needed even though it’s difficult.
PTSD was and is still there. I have nightmares of him breaking into our home, harming us and taking Talon. I’ll be driving around, I notice the car behind me has been behind me for some time, and fear I’m being followed. The boys and I will come home, get out of the car and if I see a car I don’t recognize… I think it’s him. I got a protective order because of these fears. That’s helped a little bit, but not completely.
Right when I started to love myself again, I met this guy (Kyle) at a ballpark. A mutual friend brought us together. We talked for 2 months before accidentally running into each other. We hit it off immediately and the rest is history.
He became my best friend. He was patient with me + encouraged me to let my walls down… Not just for him, but for me. He made me believe that I could love a man again – to trust a man with my heart.
Today, I’m a strong, feisty, powerful WOMAN. I’m a much better mother. I’m happier + LIVING + loving life. I’m a bettter person because of what happened to me. Thanks to God + my family + friends. Without my support system, I don’t know where I’d be today.
Now I can be open about my story. I’m no longer ashamed or embarrassed. I share because what if the person reading this is going through the same thing?
Its a daily struggle with trusting and feeling safe in my environment. I see my scar in the mirror every morning and remind myself that I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor. Even though my physical wounds have healed… God and I are still tending to my mental + emotional wounds. One day at a time. Fixing my soul + spirit is a lot harder than fixing my nose.
I consider myself very fortunate. I want other women who have been through similar situations to know that there are good men out there and that they deserve better than what they’ve been given. I want other strong women, like me, to know they’re worthy of a good man. You don’t have to stay with someone just because you have a child with them. There is a better life out there for you + your child(ren).
Domestic Violence Happens to 1 out of 4 women + 1 out of 7 men
I want to help with awareness. If you know someone who is going through this, here are some tips.
10 ways to help a victim of abuse
– no judgment
– encourage conversation (but don’t push)
– keep things private
– be there, regardless of rejection, denial, or defensiveness
– reassure them that it’s not their fault
– don’t assume the abuse isn’t serious
– let them make their own decision
– provide practical support
– help them rebuild themselves
Here are some signs of a potentially abusive personality:
– lose their temper easily?
– blame others for their problems?
– have a mother who was abused by their father?
– get angry if you don’t take their advice?
– get jealous or suspicious of your friends?
– accuse you of lying of your whereabouts?
– wants you with them all the time and to know where you are and who you’re with?
– threaten murder or suicide to control you?
In honor of domestic violence month, I wrote about my experience.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek help. You are not alone.